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James Bay announces intimate UK tour for Independent Venue Week 2022

He's promised "a load of brand new songs" at the special gigs

By Tom Skinner

close-up press shot of James Bay
James Bay. (CREDIT: Press).

James Bay has announced an intimate UK tour in support of Independent Venue Week 2022 – see all the details below.

The ‘Hold Back The River’ singer-songwriter will hit the road for the ‘New Songs New Stories’ solo tour in January.

Performances are scheduled for Cardiff, Brighton, London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and other locations throughout the month and into February.

Tickets go on sale here at 9am GMT this Friday (December 3).

“This summer, for the first time since September 2019 I finally got to play live to my fans again,” Bay wrote on social media today (November 29). “They were intimate shows to just a few hundred people. But they were of course so so special. It was just me, a microphone and my guitar, nothing else onstage.

“And although I can’t wait to go back out with the band and make a racket, those shows in the summer really got to me. They reminded me of how I got started, performing in small independently run venues. They reminded me why I love to do what I do.”

He continued: “So I decided I’ll start 2022 with a tour of the same kind of shows. In celebration of Independent Venue Week I’ll be travelling around the UK next Jan & Feb, just me and my guitar.”

Bay went on to promise fans that he’ll showcase “a load of brand new songs” at the special gigs, adding: “I’ve been lucky enough to keep busy through all these lockdowns and I have so much to share from what became a very creative time.”

You can see the announcement tweet, including the official tour poster, above.

Bay’s most recent studio album, ‘Electric Light’, came out in 2018. He released the ‘Oh My Messy Mind’ EP the following year, before sharing the single ‘Chew On My Heart’ in July 2020. Earlier this year, Bay contributed to Alesso and Marshmello’s ‘Chasing Stars’.

Last summer the singer played a live-streamed show in aid of UK grassroots music venues that had been impacted by COVID restrictions.

Meanwhile, Wet Leg have been announced as the England ambassadors for Independent Venue Week 2022. SOAK, Joesef and Mace The Great are ambassadors for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales respectively.

The week-long annual event that champions independent music venues across the UK will take place from January 31 to February 6 next year.

“It’s a bit of a delicate ecosystem – Music makers and lovers are supported by the venues and in turn the venues are supported by bands/artists and their fans passing through,” Wet Leg explained in a statement.

“The way I see it is this – No Independent venues = No music scene. No community. And to me, I feel that that’s something worth continuing to preserve and nurture.”